Battery Life and Charging

First things first, the Lumia 900 has none of the charging issues or problem behavior that initially plagued the Lumia 800. In the course of our battery life testing, I’ve repeatedly discharged and charged the phone completely and the Lumia 900 charges up from completely empty like a champ. It seems those initial growing pains are now squarely behind Nokia.

In addition, Nokia has gone with a compact 5W charger (5V 1A) that the Lumia 900 takes full advantage of during a charge cycle - I repeatedly saw the Lumia 900 draw over 800 mA during the charge cycle in its diagnostics menu, which is awesome. One of the things I’ve seen requested a lot is also measurement of just how long devices take to charge from completely empty - I measured the Lumia at almost exactly 3 hours with repeatability, using the supplied charger. The Lumia 900 uses an internal 1830 mAh, 6.77 Whr battery which is about what you’d expect for a device which includes a 4.3" SAMOLED display and LTE.

So how does battery life fare on the Lumia 900? To find out, I turned to our regular suite of battery life tests which consist of pages loaded endlessly until the phone dies, with the display set as close to 200 nits as possible. In the case of the Lumia 900, this actually ends up being the max brightness setting (WP7 offers three settings and auto). Due to time constraints, I haven’t run the WiFi page loading test, but have run the cellular tests over both 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE.

Cellular Talk Time

Web Browsing (Cellular 3G - EVDO or WCDMA)

Web Browsing (Cellular 4G WiMAX or LTE)

When it comes to web browsing, both the 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE results end up being pretty close at around 4.4 hours. This tells me that we’re pretty much dominated by the display’s power drain in that neighborhood. The web browsing tests tend to be pretty brutal on AMOLED devices to begin with, partly because we’re dealing with black text atop a white background. In practice I feel like the Lumia 900 does subjectively a lot better than these results really would lend you to believe. If you can believe it, we actually haven't formally published any AT&T LTE device results yet, so the Lumia 900 is our first.

In addition I’ve also run our hotspot tethering test on 3G WCDMA and 4G LTE, which consists of four tabs of our normal webpage loading suite alongside a 128 kbps MP3 internet radio stream all loaded on one wireless client.

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (3G)

WiFi Hotspot Battery Life (4G)

The results of the tethering test demonstrate just how taxing constant connectivity can be for the current crop of 45nm basebands, and the Lumia 900 does pay the price for having a relatively hungry one. Our testing was done in good AT&T LTE and HSPA+ coverage, and interestingly enough the results are pretty close for the two air interfaces at around 3 hours. Jumping onto LTE and running the same test incurs a half hour hit.

WP7.5 and Preloaded Applications Performance Analysis


View All Comments

  • RaistlinZ - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    2010 would have liked this phone. Reply
  • guidryp - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    Yeah, why are they getting a pass on a single core phone with abysmal browser performance as their flagship offering. Reply
  • hemmy - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Abysmal? Please. Yes the benchmarks are poor but the browsing experience is significantly better than any Android phone with the sheer smoothness. Reply
  • eddman - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I was watching a video the other day, showing scrolling and zooming in verge and engadget, which are very heavy websites, and was really surprised by how much fast and smooth WP is when it comes to browsing.

    I don't suppose a single-core android phone can be that smooth.
  • Braumin - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Because life isn't about benchmarks. Reply
  • juhatus - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    Totally wrong. Life is a benchmark.

    Now I need my milliseconds back.
  • PeteH - Thursday, April 05, 2012 - link

    But without something to measure myself against, how will I know if I'm winning? Reply
  • TGressus - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    2010 would have used a browser.


    Seriously though, when you have to zoom and pan to view content, doesn't it feel like you are using the wrong device to begin with?
  • jwcalla - Tuesday, April 03, 2012 - link

    As a software developer I can say that I've had nothing but heartache dealing with Qualcomm hardware so far. Closed-up proprietary stuff with no public API to help us out seems to be the preferred mode of operation.

    Ultimately a platform comes down to its developers. There are a limited number of developers and the platform that attracts the most and best from the lot is going to provide the greatest user experience. Apple figured this out long ago in the device space. Microsoft before that on the desktop. If Nokia and Microsoft understand this today, they'll do well.

    I don't care how well the hardware benchmarks, we need to be treated as something other than an afterthought if you want us to develop for your platform.
  • Braumin - Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - link

    I'm sorry how is Visual Studio not the best for developers? Are you trying to write native code to WP7? I know it can be done, but most apps don't do it.

    I think the developer tools are top notch for WP7.5. Sure, there are some holes to fill (WP8) but they will get filled.

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